LONG BEACH, CA -- The southern California premiere of Kristine Thatcher's Emma's Child will take place May 8 at the International City Theatre. The run is for six weeks. Thatcher's partly autobiographical drama explores the idea of commitment in a marriage and as a parent when a childless couple must decide whether to continue the adoption process after the baby is born severely disabled.
Commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Emma's Child is the second play in what was originally to be a trilogy about a couple's on-going attempts to have a child. The first play, Under Glass, chronicled the obsessive and heartbreaking efforts of Jean and Henry Farrell to conceive through modern fertility methods. Emma's Child continues their story. The play won the 1995 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Director Shasin Desai said, "This is a powerfully moving play told with great style and humor. It approaches its difficult subject matter without sentimentality. The dialogue is quite witty, and there are even a couple of hilarious scenes. It's Thatcher's personal story, but it goes beyond the personal to deal with larger issues of relationships in a new and fresh way."
Performances are Fri. & Sat. at 8 PM; Sun. at 2 PM through June 14. Tickets are $22; seniors & students $19. The ICT is a nonprofit professional company located on the campus of Long Beach City College, at the intersection of Clark St. and Harvey Way. Call (562) 938-4128.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent